Live Music Exchange Resources

Live Music Exchange Digest – w/c 01/10/2012


Welcome to our weekly digest of live music news and events in industry, academia and more.

The Live Music Act: a blog post from the archives:-

Today – Monday 1st October 2012 – the Live Music Act 2012 (LMA) comes into effect, which frees up smaller venues to provide live music. To mark this event, we delved into the archives to present a blog post by jazz drummer and tireless music campaigner Hamish Birchall, who was a driving force behind the recent passage of the Act. In this guest post, he answers some questions about the campaign and the Act itself, for which many musicians and venues will have cause to be thankful.  Read the full blog post here.

You can also watch a YouTube video of Hamish Birchall being interviewed by Professor Martin Cloonan at the Live Music Exchange, Leeds event in May 2012. Click here to view the video.


This week’s blog post:

‘Screen Tests: A historical snapshot of the Musicians’ Union and technological change – John Izod’

Professor John Izod of the University of Stirling writes this week’s guest blog post, which has a historical bent. It concerns the fate of musicians employed by cinemas in the 1920s and the role of the Musicians’ Union at this time of technological change.


Live music and the live music industries in the news:

In the media, the Live Music Act, is generally greeted positively, although concerns have been raised by the Noise Abatement Society.

The Musicians’ Union have created a downloadable Live Music Kit, containing ‘practical and creative advice’ for venues to boost income from live music.

Also starting today is The Health & Safety Executive’s cost recovery scheme (FFI): Kevin McLoughlin of The Safety Organisation Limited explains what it means for Event Organisers.


A ‘cruel summer’ for festivals: The CMU’s weekly editorial sums up what has been a very tough year for the UK’s festival industries.

Vince Power’s Music Festivals first announced that it had suspended trading on its shares, soon followed by the announcement that the company behind the Benicassim and Hop Farm festivals had called in the administrators.

Poor weather and intense competition has caused long-running Guilfest to go into administration, a move that could cost Guildford Borough Council tens of thousands of pounds. [Live Music Exchange was at this year’s Guilfest and can absolutely confirm that the site was indeed a ‘quagmire’.]

Poor weather also affected the Coventry Godiva Festival substitute.  Brisfest at Ashton Court in Bristol also suffered poor weather but was a success due to the ‘sheer passion of volunteers’.

On a more positive note, and looking forward to what will hopefully be a better year for UK festivals, Emily Eavis has been crowd-sourcing for next year’s Glastonbury line-up via Twitter.


Radiohead and Ticketmaster accused of unfair ticketing: Radiohead fans who bought tickets for the band’s upcoming Manchester Arena and London O2 Arena shows have accused them and Ticketmaster of running an unfair system. Secondary ticketing agency Seatwave’s Joe Cohen is quick to point out why paperless ticketing is ‘bad for fans’.

Beach Boys founders sacked in middle of reunion tour: Beach Boys frontman Mike Love, who owns the rights to the band’s name, has released a statement saying he will not tour with founder members Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and David Marks beyond the band’s UK tour dates this week. Wilson and Jardine are allegedly annoyed that Love now plans to tour with his ‘alternative’ Beach Boys.

Andy Williams dies aged 84: video obituary


News last weekend that Green Day frontman, Joe Armstrong, has checked himself into rehab for alleged substance misuse, is followed by an apology from the band about his rant at Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio event, following an alleged misunderstanding about set times. Clear Channel’s John Sykes was quick to suggest that it was a stunt by Armstrong, claiming that, ‘If a set goes long, we don’t care’, while other commentators see it as a clear-cut case that the organisers pulled the plug early.

Pete Docherty pulls out of two Scottish shows in a row, citing ‘unforeseen circumstances’ for the cancellation.

George Michael cancels Australian concerts due to ‘major anxiety’ following his battle with pneumonia at the end of last year.


Following on from last week’s announcement that the Anschutz Company is to sell AEG,  an LA billionaire is to bid for AEG with Guggenheim: Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is to bid for AEG having joined forces with financial services firm Guggenheim Partners.

Tim Chambers leaves Live Nation: Live Nation’s SVP of International Corporate Development Tim Chambers has announced that he is leaving the company at the end of the week.


The director of the Tate art galleries, Nicholas Serota has urged the government to ‘Keep arts at heart of curriculum’ by including the arts in the English Baccalaureate qualifications that will replace GCSEs, in order to prevent an ‘entire generation of children of the cultural skills that they will need’.   Julian Lloyd Webber also joins pleas for music to survive Gove’s exam shake-up.


Arts agency Creative Scotland awards nearly £15 million to a variety of venues including Glasgow’s Theatre Royal and The Arches.

Also in the news, however, is that while the Scottish Government protects the cultural sector in a budget designed for growth,  Creative Scotland has been asked to clarify its ‘strategic commissioning’ role in a letter from the Scottish culture secretary, and to strike the right balance between funding artists and commissioning new work. Creative Scotland has now agreed to host an open debate for aggrieved artists.

Manchester City Council defends £425,000 of public money spent on Alicia Keys gig, claiming that “Taking part in such world-class events strengthens Manchester’s position on the world stage as a premier destination for music, entertainment and culture, boosts the local economy, and increases the global profile of Manchester as an exciting destination for young adults to visit, work, study and live.”

Grant to help Norden Farm after funding cutbacks: A Berkshire arts centre which sustained Arts Council England (ACE) cuts has now been awarded a grant by the body to improve facilities.

Birmingham Hippodrome is to reopen after a £1.2m refurbishment which included its stage being replaced.


Trevor Nunn, director of musicals such as Cats and Les Misérables, is to be inducted into Broadway’s Theater Hall of Fame.

Beatles show featuring original music opens in West End: For the first time, the surviving members of the Beatles have allowed a West End show to use their music, with approval from Sony.

Jesus Christ Superstar lead would welcome more ‘reinvented’ mega-musicals for arenas as the show begins an arena tour around the country.  A poll by The Stage, however, shows that 82% of those polled believe that arenas aren’t suitable for musical theatre.


Pussy Riot appeal hearing delayed by Russian court: Case will be heard next week after Yekaterina Samutsevich rejected one of her lawyers.  Meanwhile, the band speak out about their treatment in jail, claiming that ‘We had nothing to do in prison but read the Bible’.  Tori Amos has stepped in to the debate, claiming that Putin is ‘terrified of pussy’.

Madonna defends ‘black Muslim’ Obama endorsement: Singer says she was being ironic when she referred to president at a Washington concert as a ‘black Muslim in the White House’

At Carnegie, there are ripples of a Chicago Strike: The 101 Chicago Symphony Orchestra players, whose contract expired on Sept. 16, “withheld their services,” to use an industry term, on Saturday, hours before a concert, in a dispute over wages and health insurance costs at one of the richest and most successful orchestras in the country.


And finally:

Pianist Stephen Hough’s favourite app for musicians is not a piano . . .

Justin Bieber vomits on stage on first night of world tour: Singer says drinking too much milk is to blame after throwing up twice in front of audience in Arizona


Selected comment and features:

The BBC’s Colin Grant asks whether Jamaica is the loudest island on the planet in a piece that looks back at the politicised history of popular music on the island.

James Algate, CEO of Angel Music Group discusses the early days of Global Gathering and why he thinks the festival is still going strong after twelve years of parties.

Campsite Carnage is unacceptable says A Greener Festival, after festival-goers leave discarded tents and other rubbish behind in what is perceived to be a growing trend.

Do ‘specialist’ performing arts secondary schools live up to the label?  Are specialist subjects taught any better in a specialist performing arts school than anywhere else?

October 1962: the month that modern culture was born: This week sees the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first single. But as Love Me Do hit Britain’s record shops, a series of issues – from the cold war to civil rights and sexual liberation – also started to shape a tumultuous decade and banish the austere mood of the 1950s.

Music Law 101 looks at the legal issues around videoing and posting concert footage in the States.

The Guardian’s Live Chat last week featured a discussion on Agents in the Arts: what role do they now play in the arts and what makes a good agent-talent relationship?

Ten tips for marketing new seasons in the arts: all the best insights and comments from a previous live chat on how arts organisations can market their new programmes more effectively and efficiently.


Live Music Exchange Events:

Live Music Exchange, Cardiff
Saturday 10th November 2012
ATRiuM, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff

A conference with a difference, the Live Music Exchange gathers together leading academics with people working directly (and indirectly) with live music, to exchange ideas about how to encourage and assist a vibrant and sustainable live music ecology.

Panels on: Live music policy, skills & training and more.

Round-table discussions.

Keynote Speaker: Professor George McKay (Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Salford and AHRC Leadership Fellow, Connected Communities Programme)

Panellists include: Simon Dancey (British Council), Huw Williams (founder Welsh Music Foundations), Arts Council Wales, John Rostron (SWN Festival), and many more.

See here for the latest programme.

Please get in touch with for further details.


Other Live Music-related Events:

The Association of Independent Festivals’ monthly Festival Social: The Social, 5 Little Portland Street London W1W 7JD. Tuesday October 2nd 2012, 7pm – 12am.  Free entry.

Love Me Do: The Beatles at 50 – An Interdisciplinary Conference: The School of Political, Social and Geographical Sciences at Loughborough University, UK. Friday 5th October 2012

Live UK Summit: Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, Portman Square, London. Tuesday 9th – Wednesday 10th October 2012.

Musical Chairs’ with the Musicians’ Union as part of the City Showcase 2012. 9th – 13th October 2012, London.

PoP Moves Conference: Blast from the Past: Histories and Memories in Popular Performance: University of Chichester, UK, Saturday 13th October 2012.

Why 1973? Towards an Understanding of the ‘Legendary’ Status of the Glasgow Apollo (1973-85). 16th October, 5.00 – 7.00pm, UWS Space, CCA Glasgow.

MU events at the SWN festival: Thursday 18th and Friday 19th October 2012 at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

National Rural Touring Forum AGM and members meeting:  Thursday 25th October, he Public in West Bromwich


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